Did you know there are 2.7 billion frontline workers worldwide? Accounting for 80 percent of the workforce globally, the importance of these deskless workers cannot be overstated, as they not only provide essential services but often serve as the face of your company to customers.
Frontline employees might include nurses, retail associates, factory workers, customer service representatives, emergency services, call centre teams, support technicians or front desk staff.
Yet given that they represent such a huge and valuable part of the workforce, it may come a surprise how often frontline workers continue to be overlooked when it comes to having access to the latest tools and technology to do their jobs.
While many digital transformation projects have to date have focused on boosting the productivity of their information worker colleagues, frontline workers find themselves turning to unapproved messaging apps for work-related communications, causing potential security and compliance headaches for the organisation. Indeed, one estimate reports that 85 percent of customer-facing teams are frustrated with lack of technology needed to meet customer expectations. This can leave workers feeling disengaged from their organisation, or worse – isolated and unproductive.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Cloud is transforming the modern workplace. Widespread adoption of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the rise in mobile devices means it’s no longer about where you work – it’s about how you work.
Collaboration in the workplace, driven by technology, is key to remaining competitive. The cloud helps provide a better employee experience by allowing instant access to company communications, collaboration tools, and training documents to keep frontline workers looped in, increasing their engagement and loyalty to the company.
Employees who are empowered by the cloud to work remotely are also among the most satisfied, creative and productive, whether that’s because work freedom enables them to perform better or the opportunity to work remotely pulls in the top talent. More than seven out of ten Millennials say that the degree to which an organisation embraces technology or innovation influences where they work – a crucial factor in an age of skill shortages. This will also been seen as a deal-breaker for the imminent arrival of Generation Z into the workplace, which expects to be able work from any location.
But empowering frontline workers doesn’t just benefit the individual employee. Frontline workers are such an enormous percentage of the total global workforce that the potential productivity benefits are enormous too. Studies show that organisations that succeed in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors.
In addition, organisations that empower their frontline workers also realise better customer engagement. Customer insights and data, driven by the rise in ML-powered applications, drive more personalised customer experiences and strengthen company-customer relationships. This is vital in an era where 73 percent of consumers say that customer service drives their purchase decisions, and with Gartner referring to the customer experience (CX) as “the new marketing battlefront”.
Whether it’s retail associates, call centre teams, support technicians or front-of-house staff, the first impression a frontline worker gives of the organisation can permanently alter a customer’s view of it, for better or worse. Cloud allows employees to capture customers’ opinions in the moment, viewed as the best time to collect honest feedback and curtail negative feelings from growing.
Google Chrome Enterprise, for example, was made for a cloud-first workforce. With benefits like fast deployment, company agility, built-in security, ease of use, and a strong multi-user experience, Chrome Enterprise ensures that IT and frontline workers alike can work better in the cloud.
Frontline workers are the backbone of any company. It’s critical to identify these frontline workers and give them the technology to do their jobs more effectively, boosting employee productivity, engagement and satisfaction. The good news is that with fewer legacy barriers to adoption, the transition to the cloud for frontline workers may be easier than you think.
Todays’ frontline workforce demand the same cloud-based technologies that empower their personal lives to also drive communication and innovation in the workplace. With highly engaged frontline employees adding tremendous value to your organisation, they should be vital part of the cloud conversation today.
As a Google Premium Partner, CDW is strategically positioned to support our customers on an international scale. We collaborate closely with Google to help you orchestrate coordinated CDW-Google solutions to achieve your business outcomes.